2017 was the year of pivoting to video. As news publications moved from written to spoken word, and platforms like Snapchat and Instagram continued to morph and grow in popularity, the medium became more important than ever.
Long gone are the days of MTV and BET playing nonstop music videos and record labels budgeting barrels of money to shoot a single clip of Puff and Big letting bills fly off a boat—but that doesn't mean artists have abandoned videos altogether. If anything, the visuals have gotten better, bolder, and more creative simply as a result of having to accomplish so much with so little.
The year’s best videos varied wildly in style—animation jolted two concepts to life; taking their cues from Hollywood, certain videos were cinematic both in scope and inspiration; also to be noted, women proved the most clever of the bunch, crafting clips that sparkled visually while conveying resonant messages. One resourceful director even salvaged a massive fail by appealing to our reality show-addled brains and pulling back the curtain on what happens when rappers stop being polite and start getting real.
Of course, the year’s most affecting videos were those that spoke to the injustices that—having plagued our country since its inception—manifested themselves in ways both new and familiar in recent times.
Throughout the year, it seemed we gathered together and buzzed about these short films, setting aside whatever despairing bit of news broke that day, even if only for a few minutes. Here are the 10 visuals we ourselves “pivoted” to throughout the 12 bewildering months that were 2017.